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Everything posted by waljamada

  1. I'll ask him to either bring the sword over or send me some more photos. See if we can get some vision on this hamon using some angles and lights.
  2. I got pictures from my friend, who is now the second person that went to ebay and made a purchase after I showed them my swords and gave a romantic spiel on my collection. I honestly don't know what to think of his blade and if I should feel some guilt. I remember it was hard to see hada, could barely make out what I think could be the boshi and of course there is the obscured hamon. The blade has a 27" nagasa and is quite beefy. I tried to put all the photos he sent me into some kind of order. I zoomed in on the area that shows the visible wavy hamon portion and then all the rest, on both sides, I just see the hadori polish. He told me he spent $1400 on it and it was advertised as possibly a koto blade but there was a tag on it that said shinto. I couldn't shake the feeling it's newer than shinto, maybe shin shinto, but the nakago is a dark black and does have a much lower second mekugi-ana. The koshirae package seems quite nice, the gold is real, except the saya is a plain black laquer saya that is edo period. Nothing is signed and the blade is mumei. So do others also see a heavy handed hadori polish here? Any other observations I should share with him? He seems happy with it which is something.
  3. John, I will tactfully ask if he can send me photos of the blade to show. There is visible hamon for an inch at most by the habaki on one side. The rest is a hadori glob looking line with some hills and valleys.
  4. The reason I found this bobbing around in my head is I saw a blade this week that a polisher seemed to have used way too much of the hadori whitening component. The polisher essentially covered the entire hamon except a short segment near the habaki and the rest was totally obfuscated by the hadori. Doesn't matter what angle or what light you try....you can't peer through it. So I have a question on this....scientifically does this compound change the surface of the blade to whiten while polished in with a stone? Is it more a kind of a compound adhering on top of the blade? Is the only recourse to a blade like that to have a togishi polish off the hadori layer? I think I'm a sashikomi guy.
  5. I'll try and answer it from my perspective which is also a new collector's with a tiny bit under his belt. $1500 and under: every book you'll need. Decent showato gunto, older blade/gendaito guntos with obvious problems, possibly NTHK papered mumei wakizashi/yari, non-papered (or maybe green/white papers) mumei katanas in koshirae or signed katanas in old polish with flaws that are cool to own and present pretty well, but are not art pieces but more historical pieces. $3000 is in the realm of NBTHK Hozon katanas and wakizashis. Not going to get top tier smiths/schools but can get a papered blade in good+ polish with koshirae or shirasaya and both if lucky. Gendaito guntos by some of the more notable ww2 era smiths. A good+ polished Naginata. Got my Tokubetsu Hozon katana for under this price within the last 6 months (not all toku hozons are created equal of course). At this bracket it can be longer/harder to resell them if needed. Or not, depends on your buy/blade. Again, probably not "art pieces" but some solid examples. $5000 run and ask for help from wiser individuals. More "art" and more 'historical" than the previous bracket. At this bracket it can be longer/harder to resell them if needed. Or not, depends on your buy/blade. Repeat the previous answer for every price above this. =|:^)
  6. John, I really like the mumei mihara. Never done an aoi auction before but if it stays in the 400k yen that's not too shabby a price. I'll look into this and auction but assume starting prices don't tend to stay as the closing prices. If an o-kissaki crosses anyone's path feel free to drop a link here =|:^)
  7. Bazza, thank you for your comment. I shall fix the tsuba post haste! It is an iron tsuba I believe and th4 koshirae came with a Kogai and no kozuka. It's definetly an incomplete package.
  8. Ken and Thomas, Thank you for your kind words and sage advice. I have been spending my nihonto time recently reading books and looking at papered swords for examples to reinforce what I'm getting from the books. I have yet to have much of a narrowing/focusing of interest or style that most appeal to me. I think I'm going to end up as a "controlled scattered" (more in line with purchasing examples of each "category" that appeals to me ie: 1 o-kissaki, 1 naginatanaoshi, 1 sword with a purposeful design in the hamon etc..) type collector and probably find one smith to be my "spirit smith" that I will try and collect. I will also always have a draw to laquered bohi. I aim to frame my purchases by having a quality barrier, within those categories, that I will not go outside of. Thomas, I actually truly appreciate the feedback and that example/walkthrough you shared! Even if I may regret it temporarily doesn't mean it was truly the correct purchase for me and I'll take an intelligent over an emotional purchase everytime. Thanks to the people who have helped me (and all those like me) while navigating the nihonto path!
  9. My smallest blade did not fit it sadly, but th4 blade does already have a koshirae. I think this one will just be used for display. It's a great size for that and can be placed on a bookshelf with some elegence.
  10. Ken, Ken, No, I passed on it and do regret it a bit. Got "neat but doesn't seem great" feedback overall and I am now at the tail end of buying a new house currently. Could have pulled off the purchase but not completely painlessly and chose to play it safe. It sold immediately the same day after I told the dealer I decided against purchasing it (I told him I needed a day to think beforehand). I hope I don't regret it for years down the line and my o-kussaki quest for under $3k continues! =|:^(
  11. I'll just leave this totally authentic "Emura" mei here....
  12. Edward, same I'm a young gun in the hobby and sometimes shoot from the hip. Chris W., I really agree. The experience of owning, holding, staring into the details, looking at the parts, how it all goes together, learning how to handle it, how to care for it, comparing nakagos and even rust colors...all of it...no reading does the visual and tactile knowledge gained that way and it's integral to the spark that grabs hold of someone or throws wood on the interest fire to keep it burning. Then to have multiple blades to compare makes the difference of features so much more evident...same with having blades of different quality as your collection evolves. Also, on the life advice front, I would never suggest a young man building a life toss 8k at a sword unless they truly can afford it. Like any hobby I also wouldn't ever suggest using large debt to pursue this hobby. Buying comfortably within your means is important, and for beginners pieces don't need to be perfect to enjoy and just try and get the best you can with what you can afford. There's honor in the hunt/quest even with lower end pieces. They still have a history. One can always trade up later when you're tastes/interests evolve and have more "fun" money.
  13. Edward, yeah I know what you mean. I at least aim to be in the middle of the two. I can fully admit that (just for examples sake) if I spent 20k total on a collection over time I'd rather have say 8 swords/examples over 1 20k blade.
  14. John, yeah not totally spaced correctly with different sizes on the tsuka ito "diamonds". Noticed it more thoroughly after you pointing it out. Thanks! Mark, this would be my first sword purchased from a dealer. I've always found, as these things go, that dealer prices are almost always at the top of the market value for a sword. The mentality I've fallen into is at minimum I would want to buy a blade that I should be able to make my money back (+-$500) if selling which honestly knocks many dealer blades out as potentials. Also, I of course only know the little slice of things that I see so I keep an open mind that my impressions aren't correct likely as a whole and I play in the lower levels of the nihonto market. I know a blade on ebay now that an original seller offered me at 2.8k. A dealer bought it and sold it to its current owner in the 5k range. Now current owner is trying to sell it because he needs the funds; went all the way down to 4k for a time and still couldn't move it. I only share this to typify what I really want to avoid. Also this really isn't me dealer bashing as gooddealers offer curated options to purchase backed by knowledge and expertise and have to sell for more than they paid so a premium is to be expected/respected. Also when consigning they aim to get the best price for a seller the current market sustains. All fair game. The sub 4k market is the least risky for me to operate in with it getting less and less risky the cheaper you buy a good piece. I've still never spent over 3k on a katana and have a toku hozon, one hozon I paid 2.6k for and two hozon blades that were at 2k or less. So what I'm really getting at is the market, if I'm being honest, should make one very cautious because I see what things sell for outside the dealer market and inside and there can be a 20 to even 40% difference. Hence the "buy what you love" because you have to be ok perhaps losing a bit to own an item you love for a time if you ever need to sell. Also I agree it can be worth paying a premium to get an item you love as most likely if it sells your chance at it is gone forever. I do feel like the o-kissaki blade I posted above is a a "safe" 2.5k to 3k sale on the top end in my opinion. So $3,800 is a bit high but I have honestly struggled to find an o-kissaki blade in the 3k+ and under range in polish (doesn't have to be perfect) that has some age and a kantei...so maybe it's not a bit high...I go back and forth on it. When it comes to sending a blade for togishi and shinsa I can only see it when you find something special and hopefully bought very cheaply to have a chance and covering expenses. A somewhat diamond in the rough situation which does happen. I've still never even come across a nihonto for sale "in the wild" so my real life treasure hunting opportunities are essentially 0. Online I'm too scared to fully gamble a purchase with the goal of polishing/shinsa etc...plus there's already smarter people than me doing it. In the end I did decide to pass on the blade mostly because I'm buying a house now and the old fashioned decision to be more patient. An o-kissaki blade is one of the last things on my "I really want to own one" list. Furthermore if I buy one more blade I will need another katana kake as I have the exact amount of blades as kake spaces currently....so thats my kakes telling me to stand firm with what I've got.
  15. Thomas, I appreciate the feedback. Honesty is why I ask. I am grateful for a good eye taking a look at it as I make a decision. Your feedback helped me look at it with a finer eye. My impression of muromachi has tended to be that you will typically find a functional over supreme quality make to many of the blades. So I always kind of saw that looking at it. In general old o-kissaki blades come with a price premium so this one even if not a supreme make seemed to have pretty decent health and even features for the price. But the price alone was enough to let me know it's not a top tier example as nihonto prices go. Plus it is mumei. This sellers photos are always kind of dark and feature lite so another reason I was hoping to hear someone's experience with the seller. I even find it difficult to see much of the boshi in the photos. The koshirae is pretty plain and I don't see any real age in it but it's clean looking.
  16. Chris, interesting to know. I will do a little digging into o-kissaki muromachi era blades. Same with any Kanesada versions from the eras. See what I can find or if it does lead me down the Daido road. Nick, yeah it's very very tempting. I just put an offer in on a new house today so working out how to sneak this purchase in. Also just got a new blade a month or so back but it was a really amazing deal that I couldn't pass up.
  17. Jussi, thank you for your thoughts. Have you perchance purchased off this site before and had a good experience? I've been told that (living national treasure) Mr. Masamitsu's kantei is one that carries weight/respect so I will defer to it but I'll keep studying to feed/hone that treasure hunting eye. Never heard of his kantei paper before this. It also caught my eye that the hamon of the two sides aim to mirror of a sort. I have seen other blades with that feature and always liked it aesthetically. I also like hamons that have some suguha that spikes into other activity and back to suguha. It would also be my longest blade at over 28" nagasa and my one and only o-kissaki example I'd purchase. I'd have to sell this o-kissaki katana (via my own self imposed rules) if I was ever to purchase another so don't want to make a mistake. Lastly, I know it's muromachi which can have a reputation for quantity over quality but this appears a nice blade.
  18. So at risk of perhaps of someone else snagging it I'd like some opinions on this blade. An o-kissaki blade has been on my check list for a long time now. This one has caught my eye, love the length, age, the filled mekugi ana, wish it was signed but its been shortened quite a bit so that's way gone now if it ever existed....it has a kantei by Mr. Matsui Fujishiro Masamitsu which I'm not sure the weight it carries but better than no papers. In full koshirae with no shirasaya....polish looks good with some flaws...but there she is...thoughts on the sword as my potential o-kissaki purchase? Also anyone purchased from this company before? https://www.nipponto.co.jp/swords7/KT334374.htm For convenience photos are also posted below.
  19. Thank you guys, dry cleaning it is. I've got two near me and I'll bring it by and see which one seems to be able to handle it with the most confidence. Stephen, appreciate the link! If the dry cleaning fails I might have to give one fo these techniques a go.
  20. Greetings Gentlemen, I have this vintage sword bag that came with a wakizashi and it has the smell of age and attics. I'd like to give it a wash but am unsure what would be safe. Perhaps just a cold water wash and air dry? Are soaps inadvisable or alright? I honestly can't tell what material it is. Below is photos of the sword bag.
  21. I'm personally into that combination of age and personality with swords. I also LOVE a beautiful type 94/98 gunto mounted ancestral blade. I wanted a Mantetsu because it seems the most recent and last militarily/war used Japanese engineering attempt to improve the sword. I prefer 26" and above nagasa. Didn't want a wakizashi originally but now have 3 (still not that into them). Didn't want a yari but now I have one...those make you want a naginata...the classic rabbit hole. I love non-traditional themes in fittings preferably attached to myth/stories/artistic themes. I've found I also love different bohi styles on blades and love the different ways to accent/decorate a blade. I still need an o-kissaki blade (preferably with naginata-hi) and will always be tempted by a blade with a red laquer bohi...always. Beyond that I really haven't gotten into a strong desire to focus on specific smiths/schools or even hamon styles as I find something to love in each. Prefer early edo and older. Would also love a daisho with personality and will always keep my collection at 20 or less swords. If I ever get to 20 I have to sell one to buy one.
  22. George, I'm mostly an flEbay-er for tsubas so I almost deserve it. I am working on purchasing a few simple authentic pieces to decorate my nihonto display area. Wanted something a little flashy but I'll buy something from a member here once my little burn heals.
  23. Dale, An ever so slight silver (more like lead) lining. I've asked the seller to cancel the order as it hasn't shipped (its listed as authentic tsuba and mei) so we will see how this ends. If he doesn't it's theme is quite fitting of showing Enma-O (the King of Hell) who would pull out tongues with a pair of tongs for people telling lies having his own tongue ripped off. I'll make it a general metaphor as false Tosogu ripping Enma-O's tongue out to protect their own exposure and false tongues. A keen reminder to tread carefully and in reputable circles until one is learned and prepared for the mean Japanese Antiques streets.
  24. George, Thank you very much good Sir. I will go through each of those pages and really take a good hard look at them googling whatever terms/words/names I dont recognize along the way. This board really is a great source of learning thanks to its members.
  25. =|:^) Found copies of this exact tsuba in that forum. Good to know and I'm officially throwing my bronze statue casting experience out the window for tsubas. Officially down $250 bucks for a tourist decour piece (albeit I do think it looks cool). My first casting "burn" but luckily not a huge hit the the wallet and will look good as a paper weight on my work desk. The first burn hurts....
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